struck a severe blow at the revisionist theory that Japan was ready to

Struck a severe blow at the revisionist theory that

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struck a severe blow at the revisionist theory that Japan was ready to surrender, he did not assign sole responsibility for the fate of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the emperor. He castigated the “power, authority, and stubborn personality” of Hirohito on the one hand and the “power, determination, and truculence of Harry Truman” on the other.40Tsuyoshi Hasegawa made a uniquely valuable contribution to atomic bomb scholarship by drawing on Soviet as well as Japanese sources to provide a multi-national perspective on the end of the war. Although he did not unequivocally endorse the revisionist position, his findings offered more support for it than the recent work of other middle grounders. Hasegawa undermined one of the foundations of revisionist scholarship by agreeing with Frank and Asada that Japanese sources did not show that the emperor had decided to surrender before Hiroshima. But on other key issues, Hasegawa’s conclusions set him apart. He explicitly took issue with Frank and Asada (and implicitly did so with Bernstein, Walker, Zeiler, and others) by arguing that the bombing of Hiroshima was less important in convincing the Japanese to surrender than Soviet entry into the war. He submitted that although Japanese leaders were shocked by the atomic bomb, they did not agree to accept the Potsdam Proclamation with the sole condition that the emperor be retained until after they learned of the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. This ended their unrealistic hopes that the Soviets would mediate a negotiated peace settlement and made them realize that the Potsdam Proclamation gave them a better opportunity to preserve the imperial institution than the suddenly looming Soviet threat. Hasegawa argued that the combination of Hiroshima and the Soviet invasion forced the Japanese surrender; neither in itselfwas a “knock-out punch.” But he maintained that the evidence was “compelling” that Soviet entry was more influential. He emphasized that Truman’s refusal to invite Stalin to join in the Potsdam Proclamation forfeited the best opportunity to end the war without using the bomb, because Stalin’s signature on the document would have destroyed the Japanese fantasy of friendly Soviet assistance in achieving peace. Hasegawa’s conclusions buttressed the revisionist argument that the use of the atomic bomb would have been unnecessary if only Truman had waited for the Soviets to enter the war. He also provided support for the revisionist position in his discussion of a “race to the finish” between Truman and Stalin to force Japan to quit the war. He contended that Truman hastened to use the bomb before the Soviets could enter the war while Stalin rushed to launch an invasion out of fear that the bomb would bring about a prompt Japanese surrender. Hasegawa disputed theview of most nonrevisionist scholars that Truman regarded the bomb primarily as the most likelymeans to force a prompt surrender and that he would have used it even in the absence of growingAmerican-Soviet tensions. Bernstein succinctly summarized this position when he wrote in 1975,
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